Linda Pastan

February 13, 2015 Pastan Linda



Someone has spilled the moon

all over the trees;


someone is cutting down the trees,

branch by forked branch–


soon there will be nothing left

but kindling.


Why am I afraid of the dark

but more afraid of light, what it reveals:


this moonlight which lies everywhere

like a beautiful torn shroud;


the illumination of dreams, room

after room of dreams?


Is it the moon itself I fear,

in too many pieces now


to put back together?  Or the stars,

light years away, my voice


traveling towards them

in a straight trajectory?


I fear the earth as it warms

and freezes; I fear your arms


which hold me a moment

then disappear.




Linda Pastan was Poet Laureate of Maryland from 1991-1995.  In 2003 she won the Ruth Lilly Prize for lifetime achievement. Her book, Insomnia,  came out in 2015 and A Dog Runs Through It in 2018. Almost An Elegy: New and Later Selected Poems, will be published in 2022.